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September 24, 2018

Samsung heir Lee to skip biannual meetings with top brass

PUBLISHED : June 14, 2018 - 15:48

UPDATED : June 14, 2018 - 17:28

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[THE INVESTOR] Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong will not participate in a biannual conference where top executives from its global offices put their heads together to discuss business strategies for the second half, according to sources on June 14.

The tech giant will hold three separate meetings for its core business units -- on June 22 for electronics component division, June 25 for handset division, and June 26 for consumer electronics division.


Related:
Samsung’s Lee Jae-yong returns from Hong Kong, Japan

“As usual, the owner family will not show up at the conference where CEOs and top executives discuss business matters,” said a Samsung official, adding “Lee, however, may take part in a banquet to be held after the meetings.”

Lee’s absence is in line with Samsung’s efforts to separate ownership and management. Each of the three divisions are respectively led by chief executives in a bid to guarantee independence of business management. Instead of being involved in daily business decisions, the vice chairman, as face of the tech behemoth, is tasked with meeting global CEOs for partnership and approving large-scale M&As.

He recently made overseas trips, including to Japan and Hong Kong, for meetings with heads of electronics and vehicle parts companies, such as Ushio and Yazaki, both of which are based in Japan.

At this year’s meetings for top Samsung execs, the slowing demand for smartphones and the emergence of new technologies, including artificial intelligence, will likely take center stage.

Samsung’s latest flagship Galaxy S9, launched in mid-March, is forecast to have posted lower-than-expected sales of 9.5 million units, down from the previous estimates of 15 million, according to Eugene Investment and Securities.

The Samsung executives will also likely discuss ways to improve its shrinking market share in India and China due to challenges posed by Hauwei and Xiaomi, and to beef up the firm’s AI capability, according to sources.

Samsung aims to incorporate AI technology into all of its digital products and hire at least 1,000 experts in the sector by 2020.

By Kim Young-won (wone0102@heraldcorp.com)

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